Seminars on concrete standard announced

The American Concrete Institute has scheduled a series of one-day seminars this spring on seismic design for liquid-containing concrete structures. The sessions, presented by concrete industry experts, will discuss practical applications of the new requirements for seismic design of liquid-containing structures through lectures and by working through design examples. Topics include basic theory, tank configurations, design loads, earthquake pressures, applications of site-specific response spectra, stresses, freeboard, earthquake-induced earth pressures, and parametric study. For a list of dates, fees, and locations, visit www.concreteseminars.org.

Software aids pollution prevention

Georgia Tech's Energy and Environmental Management Center has developed Web-based stormwater pollution prevention plan software designed to streamline the planning process. Funded by the U.S. EPA's Office of Water, the tool initially helps companies determine whether they need a stormwater permit, then walks through a series of questions about their facilities, such as whether they have outdoor fueling stations or loading docks. Then, the tool guides companies through assembling a pollution prevention team, identifying potential pollutants, selecting appropriate best management practices to control pollutants, recordkeeping and reporting, employee training, and implementing and updating the plan. For more information, visit www.gatechstormwater.com.

Understanding new I-Codes

The International Code Council offers the opportunity to learn about changes to the 2006 international codes while earning continuing education units by participating in seminars via telephone. Several people can gather in one room and participate together using a speaker phone. The series, which begins this month, includes four separate 90-minute sessions that give an overview of the changes from the 2003 edition to the 2006 edition of the International Building, Residential, Plumbing, and Fire Codes. Each class will focus on changes in code requirements and organization, and the applicability of new requirements to design, reviewing plans, and inspection. Registration for each is $175 per site. Visit www.iccsafe.org to learn more.

Judge dismisses RD&D rule suit

A federal appeals court has dismissed an environmental group's challenge of the U.S. EPA's Research, Development, and Demonstration (RD&D) rule. The rule allows state directors of federally approved municipal solid waste landfill permit programs to issue RD&D permits to landfills to conduct research and development on bioreactor landfills. Chief Judge Douglas Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed the Madison, Wis.-based GrassRoots Recycling Network's lawsuit after determining that the organization did not have the standing to seek a review. For more information, visit www.epa.gov.

Guide for arsenic in wells

Public and private water agencies soon will have to meet new standards for arsenic levels in water, but those protections will not apply to individual home wells. The American Ground Water Trust offers solutions in a 24-page guide, Arsenic and Ground Water: Questions, Answers, and Solutions. The literature explains the geologic origins of arsenic, its occurrence in groundwater, arsenic-related health issues, and methods to remove or reduce arsenic levels. For more information or to obtain a copy, visit www.agwt.org.

Sealants impact urban streams

Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment have identified sealcoating as a significant and previously unrecognized source of extremely elevated concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in streams. In one instance, runoff from parking lots sealed with a type of coal, tar-based sealant had PAH concentrations of 65 times higher than concentrations from unsealed parking lots. PAHs are suspected human carcinogens and are toxic to aquatic life. Because sealants are used nationwide and the concentrations of PAHs in lakes and reservoirs across the country are increasing, the information raises local and national policy questions about the use of sealants and methods to prevent contaminated runoff from reaching urban water bodies.